Colombo, Aug 24: It was an emotional afternoon at the P Sara Oval here today as one of Sri Lanka's legendary cricketers Kumar Sangakkara bid adieu to international cricket.
Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar, the entire Indian Test team, Sri Lankan cricketers and many other dignitaries were present on Monday at the ground to honour Sangakkara. (Kohli's message to Sangakkara)
The 37-year-old Sangakkara could not have a winning farewell as India thrashed Sri Lanka by 278 runs on the final day of the 2nd Test. (Sangakkara offered High Commissioner's post)
Teary-eyed Sangakkara made an emotional speech in front of his parents, coaches, team-mates and fans. "I am sorry, I usually don't get emotional but it is very rarely when my parents and my siblings come and watch me play and I am very very thankful.," Sangakkara said trying to hold back tears on a sunny afternoon in Colombo.
He said his parents were an inspiration for him. "A lot of people asked me who inspired me, I didn't have to go far for inspiration because I have my parents here with me. I am sorry but I don't want to embarrass you too much but I didn't have to look too far from home for inspiration because I've had the most amazing parents anyone could wish for."
"I have had 15 wonderful years of cricket," he added thanking the Sri Lankan fans and his team-mates for the support.
Sangakkara said he will miss being in the dressing room. "I am going to miss all those times in the dressing room talking, laughing, talking about nonsense, talking about cricket, I am going to miss that."
He thanked Virat Kohli and the Indian team for playing tough cricket. "To Virat and the Indian team, thank you for everything, your kindness and all the words. I can't ask for anything more than tough cricket when I am leaving. Thank you very much for putting in the effort. You guys over the years, have been our toughest opponents," he said.